California Department of Education
Area of Need
When COVID hit, many field-based education agencies in California scrambled to create lists of shared educational resources that could be accessed remotely. These efforts were largely independent and uncoordinated, but demonstrated a defined and present need. The lists were largely generated as publicly shared spreadsheets as a means to support many contributors, but quickly became cumbersome with inconsistent notation, duplication, and no process for quality assurance or basic categorization and search capacity.
While reactionary, the situation did illuminate a growing community of classroom-level resource producers and consumers. Many agreed that the seismic shift to online learning merely exposed a real, existing need to make more digital learning resources available to educators universally.
Looking to support this effort, the CDE began the process of centralizing the resources on their existing website as static pages of links by subject-area. This created a single place for all resources and addressed some of the duplication and access issues for statewide distribution; it unfortunately did not introduce ways to help educators search/filter against a fast-growing directory, nor could resources be easily managed, curated, or monitored for use across the field.
What was needed was a core repository tool that provided advanced tagging and distribution features and bulk-integration tools to help engage key resource providers. It also needed to provide teachers with advanced sorting and filtering capabilities (by topic or grade for example), and reporting that allowed the CDE a view of which resources were resonating with specific schools and educator-types.
The flexibility of the One Learning Platform allowed us to quickly respond to the needs of the California Department of Education. We were able to ingest and tag all of the free and open resources that had been identified by both the existing grassroot efforts to create a repository and provide tools to help the CDE and its partners begin to build strategic provider collections as well. What was previously a set of distributed, ad-hoc lists, is now centralized, easy to search, index, curate, manage and distribute. At the same time, field-based educators can still include their own favorite resources, and share content they find to create personal collections and share content with their local peers.
Additionally the platform provides tracking and measurement on the performance of individual resources so departments, districts and educators can see who is coming to the material and which resources are meeting the needs of teachers across the state as trending by grade-level and subject area assignment.